DAY 1 Thursday November 7, 2019 Auckland, New Zealand
This morning we board our flight to Auckland New Zealand. After we arrive in Auckland, the largest city and commercial centre of New Zealand, we enjoy a sight-seeing tour, which takes in the main sights of Auckland, including the Harbour Bridge, which spans the beautiful Waitemata Harbour and the quaint and stylish shopping area of Parnell. We will continue with a visit to Ayrlies Garden, created from 1964 by Beverley and Malcolm McConnell. Covering 4.5ha, it is one of New Zealand’s finest and best-known gardens, incorporating three large ponds, cascading waterfalls, a rose garden, rockery, meadow garden and the stimulating “lurid border”. There’s also an adjoining 14ha wetlands reserve. This is a superb garden which is considered to be one of the best gardens in New Zealand. We then transfer to our hotel. We will enjoy a welcome dinner to meet Tony Fawcett and other tour members.
DAY 2 Friday November 8, 2019 Embarkation
The morning is free for independent sightseeing. Early in the afternoon we are transferred to the port to board Celebrity Solstice.
DAY 3 Saturday November 9, 2019 Tauranga, (Rotorua)
We dock in Tauranga and travel to Rotorua to visit two gardens today. The 12ha Tikitere garden, developed since 1987, incorporates a natural stream, established trees and bog plants including hostas, iris and primulas. Bridges cross the stream, which is lined with a collection of Japanese maples and cherry trees, while azaleas and rhododendrons cover the slopes beyond. We travel on to visit Miller’s garden, a private, well-established garden with many interesting features.
DAY 4 Sunday November 10, 2019 At sea
We have a free day at sea today to enjoy the many facilities and activities aboard the ship. In the afternoon Tony Fawcett will give a talk on his career in horticulture and the media and answer any questions you might have.
DAY 5 Monday November 11, 2019 Wellington
Arriving in Wellington, the nation’s capital, we enjoy a private sightseeing tour of the main city sights, including the Houses of Parliament, known locally as ‘the Beehive’. At Mount Victoria, there are breath taking, 360-degree views of the city, and we also visit the Wellington Botanic Garden, famous for its rose garden and begonia house. In the afternoon we travel to Pepped Warbeck Garden. It features a Mediterranean garden planted with olive trees, lavender and greg foliage, a vegetable garden and a white garden, which has a weeping pear, Chatham Island forget-me-nots, roses and hostas.
DAY 6 Tuesday November 12, 2019 Akaroa
Today we call in to the pretty village of Akaroa, originally founded by the French. It’s a delightful town, still retaining the French ambience. We visit Coombe Farm, a working 850 sheep farm in the Takamatua valley. The garden is in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills strewn with native trees and bush, abundant bird life, creeks and a waterfall. At Potter’s Croft we explore 1.2ha of gorgeous, private country garden next to a gently flowing stream. There are roses everywhere, mixed with lush lawns, trees, wisteria and scented white Azores jasmine. Tony will make sure you enjoy our garden visit.
DAY 7 Wednesday November 13, 2019 Dunedin
Arriving at Port Chambers this morning, we’ll be met by our private coach to travel to the city of Dunedin. Originally founded by Scottish settlers and known as the Edinburgh of the South, it features beautifully preserved buildings overlooking parklands. We’ll visit the Glenfalloch Woodland Garden, situated in a fertile coastal valley above the harbour. Originally developed by Philip Brady in 1917, it has a collection of superb European trees from 1872, under planted with azaleas and rhododendrons. Fuchsias and native ferns grow luxuriantly beside Russell Creek. Returning to Dunedin, we visit the historic, Jacobean style Olveston House, containing a treasure trove of art, antiques and set in nearly half a hectare of garden.
DAY 8 Thursday November 14, 2019 Milford, Doubtful &
Nothing can prepare you for the majesty of Milford Sound, star of Fiordlands National Park. New vistas mesmerise at each turn. In this place of outstanding natural beauty towering Mitre Peak rises 1692 metres above the sound and there are plunging waterfalls, bottlenose and dusky dolphins, fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins. Sometimes called 'The Sound of Silence', there is a cloistered serenity within Doubtful Sound that contrasts with Milford Sound. At 40kms long and eight across at its widest point, Dusky Sound is one of the largest and most complex fiords in Fiordland. Dusky Sound was discovered and named in 1773 by Captain Cook, who originally called it Dusky Bay because of its sombre aspect.
DAY 9 Friday November 15, 2019 At sea
A day free to explore the ship.
DAY 10 Saturday November 16, 2019 At sea
A day free to explore the ship. Why not have a swim or a massage? In the afternoon Tony will run a Garden Trivial Pursuit with questions based on the gardens we have explored over the past few days. We will divide the group into teams with prizes for the winners.
DAY 11 Sunday November 17, 2019 Hobart, Tasmania
We dock in Hobart this morning. We will have a guided tour of Hobart before visiting ‘The Patch’ at the Hobart Botanical Garden, an inspiring example of an urban community garden that was first started in 1995. This afternoon we visit Corinda, an enchanting inner-city garden around a beautifully-restored Victorian house. Over the last 16 years Wilmar Bouman and Matthew Ryan have recreated the garden of a century-old property. A pleached linden tree walk in the shape of a U, under planted with clipped box hedges, frames the garden. Flower-packed perennial beds overflow with colour, contrasting with an intricate, stylised parterre and a profusion of hostas, lilies and other shade-lovers under mature trees. We return to the ship for an evening at leisure.
DAY 12 Monday November 18, 2019 Hobart
In the morning we visit Crawleighwood Garden. This wonderful two-hectare garden nursery is nestled in the picturesque hills at Nicholls Rivulet in the beautiful Huon Valley. The garden features lush rhododendron woodland and rainforest with myrtles, rare and unusual plants, a wide variety of deciduous trees including maples, meandering paths, stone walls and a Gondwanan arboretum. We continue with a visit to Margaret and Bill’s gorgeous 9 hectares of landscaped native gardens ‘Inverawe’ in Margate. Tony will explain the use of the native plants and tour members will get ideas for their own gardens. We will enjoy wandering around the garden with views of North West Bay.
DAY 13 Tuesday November 19, 2019 At sea
A day free to explore the ship. We will enjoy a drinks party this evening to say goodbye to Tony Fawcett and other tour members.
DAY 14 Wednesday November 20, 2019 Sydney
This morning we cruise through Sydney Heads and arrive at Circular Quay in Sydney. The tour concludes.